4:20pm Sunday 2nd February 2014
By Alan Bentley
Cleckheaton 22, Sheffield 11
Despite the conditions and two much-changed sides, this first-round tie provided an excellent spectacle for the crowd and, by doing so, paid great respect to the Yorkshire Cup.
Two first-half tries for the home side from James Marshall and Martin Woodhead, plus a Michael Piper conversion, put the leaders of North One East in front.
Sheffield, for their part, were not going to roll over and replied with a penalty from full back Danny Williams.
The visitors reduced the deficit further with another Williams penalty, and Cleckheaton knew that they would have to lift the level of intensity if they were to have a chance of going further in the competition.
Both sides used their bench effectively but it was Cleckheaton who pulled away with two well- constructed tries from Paul Turner and Ollie Depledge, the latter returning after a year and a half out with a serious knee injury.
Michael Piper's conversion attempts were ruined by the gale-force wind blowing straight down the field but the home side had made the game safe.
In the last minute of the match, Sheffield scored the try that their efforts deserved when 18-year-old replacement Matt Adcock marked his first-team debut with an excellent try.
Cleckheaton had taken the opportunity to blood several youngsters in this match, with Jack Seddon, Josh White, and Keiron Downes all starting, the latter making his debut for the senior side, and Lewis Beasty and James Crowther entering the fray from the bench.
All gave a good account of themselves, which will have increased their confidence levels immensely.
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